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Top Watch Newsletter Movie Fanatics Scholarship

1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Apr 25, 2024
Winners Announced
May 25, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student

Movies can have a huge impact on our lives. 

The movies we watch growing up shape us early on and teach us different things about the world. As we grow up, movies may take on a different meaning for us, becoming attached to certain emotions or periods of our lives. People love different types of movies for different reasons, and in that way, the movies we like give insight into who we are. The Top Watch Newsletter Movie Fanatics Scholarship will support a student who has been influenced by movies.

High school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students are eligible to apply if they love movies and have been shaped in some way by the films they’ve watched.

To apply, write about what movie you would choose to watch if you were only able to watch one movie for the rest of your life.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Impact, Boldest Profile
Published September 8, 2023
Essay Topic

If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, which movie would you choose to watch and why?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Melissa Dayne-Holliday
Central State UniversityCapitol Heights, MD
I would watch the 1959 version of Imitation of Life. This movie taught me many lessons in life. One’s to never be ashamed of who you are. Stand tall, and firmly into your heritage regardless of what others think. Two never take your parents for granted. They’re only given to us for temporary moments in time. After that time has passed, all were left with are memories. Third, yes money could change one’s entire world for the better. If you are not careful that same money can and will destroy everything that you cherish the most. In the movie Susie tearfully told her mother “And how about a mother’s love? Her mother replied Love? But you’ve always had that! Susie painstakingly replied yes, by telephone, by postcard, by magazine interviews. You’ve given me everything, but yourself! It was at that moment her mother Lora had to stop to allow those words to sink in, and process exactly what she just heard. Lora’s overzealous need to never hit rock bottom ever again often caused her to be away from home months on end. She would break promises to her loved ones simply to star in another play, movie, etc. Make no mistake, Susie did enjoy the things afforded to her by her mother's success. However, what she wanted was her mother’s physical love, and affection. As someone who’s been raised as a motherless child this movie pulled at my heartstrings. Whereas Susie appreciated life and wanted her mother’s active involvement. Sarah Jane on the other hand constantly disrespected and despised everything that her mother Annie tried to do for her. Throughout her early adolescent stage all the way up to adulthood Sarah Jane had a bitter chip on her shoulder. She remained stagnant in her contempt of being a person of color. So much so that her anger manifested itself in her ruthless mannerisms towards her mother. Sarah Jane treated everyone in a pleasant manner except for the one person who did everything in her power for her. As someone who was abandoned by my mother, those parts of the movie had me screaming at the screen. The little girl inside me heart bled for Annie. Like Sarah Jane I always wanted and craved my mother’s love. Sarah Jane disregarded and treated her mother horribly her whole life. During Annie’s beautiful homegoing service Sarah Jane appears distraught as she clung to her mother’s casket while repeating “Mama Mama! I didn’t mean it. Mama, do you hear me? I’m sorry, Mama. Mama, I did love you”. As Lora comes to get her, she says “Miss Lora, I killed my mother. I killed her. I wanted to come home, now she’ll never know how much I wanted to come home”. Reality came crashing down around her as she realized what kind of mother she had. No matter how many times I watch this movie tears always find themselves falling down my face. Once I became a mother myself, I vowed to love my girls unconditionally. This way they’ll never have to wonder if, and how much, I loved them. As a single mother, and an essential employee there were many times throughout my career that I had to work 10-18hrs shifts, nights, weekends, holidays, and during inclement weather. Yet I remained a vigilant active presence in my girls' day-to-day lives. Fresh off work, tired and all I was there for it all! From the parent/teacher conferences, school plays, games, dances, assemblies, cheerleading competitions, tumbling classes, etc.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 25, 2024. Winners will be announced on May 25, 2024.

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